I Challenge You To Care Less
I am a laid-back mom. These days it feels shameful to admit it. Obviously I love, adore and would do anything in the world for my two boys. Maybe it’s the two-plus years of sleep deprivation but over time I’ve come to realize that I’m lacking a certain drive to care about some of the issues many of my mommy friends feel strongly about.
It’s almost a badge of honor in my Manhattan neighborhood to be hyper-competitive over all things parenting. I didn’t apply to ten different preschools like everyone else I know and I don’t agonize over which place my toddler should take his gym class. My two year old has not yet mastered potty training and he only speaks one language-and not very well at that.
I’m not sure why I don’t feel that intensely about the “right” this or the “best” that. I do feel kind of chagrined when I am part of these emotional conversations between other moms because I’m more interested in topics like “Is My Son Happy?” “Is He Hitting His Milestones?” or the mealtime favorite “How Can I Get Him To Try New Foods?”
As long as I like my son’s school and feel that’s it’s an appropriate environment and we have a caring, knowledgeable doctor I’m happy and comfortable with that. I don’t have an eco-friendly wipe at the ready the moment a drop of food falls. In my house it’s pretty much guaranteed that there will be crumbs or a dog hair on something and this doesn’t bother me. It’s not as if we live in squalor, we have a housekeeper clean once a week and we try our best to maintain order but two little boys plus two rambunctious dogs means the neat freak in you has long since flown the coop.
When I was pregnant and for a few months after my first son was born I was as nervous and anxious as any first-time mommy. I truly believed that having a certain playmat, book or toy would give my baby an advantage. I made myself crazy reading all the expectant mom books as though they held the key to unlocking the mystery of being a parent.
Maybe it was getting pregnant with the second one eight months after the first was born that made me less interested in what feels like small stuff or maybe I’m just too tired to care. Regardless of the cause, I wish my mom friends cared less about getting the best birthday cake and and more about the party. It’s a lot more fun this way.
Robin Saks Frankel is the founder of Crib Notes (www.cribnotesbaby.com), a free monthly e-newsletter for parents of kids ages zero to three. She’s also a writer, a mother of two boys (1 toddler and 1 infant) and somehow still finds the time to watch Gossip Girl and Family Guy. When she’s not watching trashy TV, she can usually be found attached to her iPhone Facebooking, Tweeting or playing Words With Friends. Robin, her husband, kids and two dogs somehow manage to coexist peacefully in Manhattan. Robin received her M.S. in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University but still can’t tell you what credit derivatives are. Follower her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cribnotes
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